Steel Shelter built by Slip Tube

What are the Advantages of Steel Tube Structures over Wood-Frame Buildings?

Slip Tube’s steel tube structures offer a great deal of versatility and flexibility when compared to wood-frame structures. They can even be purchased secondhand and transported to a new site — something that’s nearly unheard of with a wood-frame building. There are many more advantages of steel tube structures, such as…

Steel Tube Structures are Cheaper

Building a wood-frame structure from scratch is a lengthy and costly process. Not only is lumber expensive, constructing a new building usually takes a team of people over a few weeks or months.

A steel tube structure, on the other hand, can be assembled in a few hours without the need for a concrete foundation and with fewer personnel and less equipment. A steel tube structure is designed to be a quick and simple solution for keeping a space dry, so there’s less concern about aesthetics, and the structure is already engineered to be strong.

Steel Tube Structures are More Permit-Friendly

Constructing a new building generally requires approval for engineering and land permits from the municipal government or another regulatory body (depending on the type of structure, or, in the case of a greenhouse, the crop). Depending on the area, it can take years for officials to approve a new construction.

Since Slip Tube’s structures are not permanent and can easily be moved or altered, the same building permits are not necessary. Even for industrial operations where the structure needs to meet certain engineering standards, it’s much faster to customize the dimensions and setup of a steel tube structure to fit those standards. You can have the structure up within a few weeks and get to work.

Slip Tube’s steel structures are also friendlier to many industry-specific permits. For example, Health Canada regulations forbid the use of wood-frame greenhouses for many crops, since wood exposed to moisture over time can develop rot and mold and potentially contaminate crops or present a hazard for greenhouse workers. A steel tube structure is much more durable and rust-resistant, and meets Health Canada’s greenhouse standards.

Steel Tube Structures are Portable

A steel tube structure can be packed up and moved to a new space on a lot, or to a completely new location relatively easily. This is something that would be nearly impossible to do with a wood-frame building or any structure with a concrete, fixed foundation. Using steel tube structures makes sense for a variety of applications in construction, search and rescue, and industrial labour, where a covered, dry work or storage area might be needed only temporarily, or in a series of shifting locations. In this way, Slip Tube’s structures lend themselves to a much wider variety of industries and activities than traditional wood-frame buildings.

Steel Tube Structures are Easy to Customize and Repair

Slip Tube steel tube shelters are readily customizable — our galvanized steel structures are made from uniform parts that can easily be fitted together to create a wider or longer tube. The parts can also be easily replaced in the event of wear. A variety of widths, lengths, and clearance heights can be accommodated with minor alterations to the base structure. This allows Slip Tube structures to be used for a variety of applications, from a simple home greenhouse to a dry dock for ship repairs.

On the greenhouse side of things, it’s especially important to be able to customize the dimensions of a structure. Whether you’re growing citrus or lettuce, you’re going to have different dimensional needs to accommodate different kinds of plants. It’s advantageous for your greenhouse dimensions to be variable. With Slip Tube’s steel tube frames it’s easy to edit the dimensions of an existing structure.

In the event of accidental damage, steel tube structures are also a lot easier to repair. For example, say you run into a wood frame building with a forklift. Repairing a wall or support beam will require a lot of time and effort, and it may require temporary closure of an entire section of building. Because our steel tube structures are made with uniform, modular parts, Slip Tube can easily replicate the parts and replace them with minimal interruption to your business operations.

Steel Tube Structures are More Durable

Compared to wood-frame buildings, steel structures require less maintenance. Galvanized steel is more durable and impact-resistant than wood. It also won’t develop mold, and it resists rust even when exposed to consistent moisture levels over long periods of time. Slip Tube’s structures are covered with durable, waterproof, UV-treated fabric to provide further protection from the elements.

Wood can pose an issue for any kind of poly covering, because even small splinters or exposed nails and screws can damage the fabric. With galvanized steel, you don’t need to worry about splinters of any kind. Our steel is lacquered and polished, so it’s completely non-abrasive.

Steel Tube Structures Allow for More Interior Space

Steel structures can allow for larger interior spans because the arch shape allows them to stay upright without the need for vertical struts. With a wood-frame building, you’ll need load-bearing supports, which can interfere with the amount of usable space within the shelter. The need for load bearing vertical struts can also shrink the space of entrances and exits to the space, which can be an issue for structures that are being used for drydocks and hangars, or for spaces where a lot of heavy machinery and equipment needs to be set up. With Slip Tube’s steel tube structures, the opening of a building can be almost as wide as the structure itself — which is great for applications like storing boats, small planes, and helicopters.